You can be forgiven if you’re unfamiliar with the concept of “social media influencers.” They’re a strange breed, especially when you peek behind the curtain of their glamorous Instagram posts and discover their lies, deceit, drama, fraud and generally bizarre behavior. Here are just a few influencers that should’ve unplugged in 2019.
1. Clemmie Hooper
Clemmie Hooper was a cute, wholesome mommy blogger who shared photos, stories, recipes and other kitschy things from her daily life. So it came as quite a surprise when she was revealed to be a vicious Internet troll on a secondary account.
“I got lost in this online world,” she said, “and the more I became engrossed in the negative commentary, the more the situation escalated.”
It might have helped if she hadn’t written scathing anonymous comments about her own husband.
2. Alyse Parker
The vegan community was shocked when Alyse Parker renounced the lifestyle and returned to meat. She’d built a following of more than one million people across various social channels, and she even sold merchandise and hosted wellness retreats based on the concept of raw, organic eating.
She was eventually exposed by her own followers when they saw her engaging with non-vegan foodie posts. Admitting defeat, she decided to abandon her vegan and vegetarian diet, and she announced this through her participation in a “30-Day Carnivore Challenge” on YouTube.
The comments were absolutely brutal.
“This probably isn’t helping your eating disorder,” said one of the nicer ones.
3. Candice Brathwaite
Another mommy blogger, Candice Brathwaite fell from grace when it was revealed that she had been a sex worker in the past.
The most surprising part is that it didn’t require a lot of sleuthing. She’d participated in a documentary about sex work several years before, and it just took people awhile to notice. She was still using the same name and everything.
Her apology was short and sweet.
“Life is complicated,” she said.
Arii became a cautionary tale to social influencers when her vanity project completely flopped. Despite assurances from her 2.8 million followers that they would buy her custom t-shirts, she couldn’t even sell 36 of them.
“No one has kept their word,” she complained on Instagram.
Her failure inspired an entire debate in the influencer community about their power, relevance and business sense. Some people even wondered if the influencer bubble was starting to burst.
Most people just laughed.
5. Lucy Rose Jaine
There’s something about mommy bloggers that makes it extra-strange when they do something that contradicts their image. Lucy Rose Jaine learned this lesson when she posted pictures of herself with dead animal carcasses that she’d hunted and killed.
“Hunting wild meat is ideal, organic and sustainable,” she explained.
Unfortunately, her followers didn’t agree. She received so much criticism that she had to make several follow-up posts about her hunting habits. At one point, she received death threats for her supposed animal cruelty.
Who knew that bloody corpses would cause such a stir?
6. Katie Sturino
As a plus-sized blogger, Katie Sturino is no stranger to negative comments, but even she was surprised at the backlash that she received for posting a series of modelling photos inspired by Duchess Meghan Markle.
She re-created several of the royal’s most iconic looks, and while some people expressed support, others accused her of glorifying an unhealthy lifestyle.
She lamented the situation on social media.
“Every time I think we have made so much progress about our bodies and the way we talk about women, something pops up to remind me our work is not done!”
These are just a few of the craziest social media stories to come out of the influencer world in 2019. Here’s to hoping for another dramatic, fun-filled year!